The Yellow Jersey

We were just talking about Tiger Woods in the member area, and here’s another sports analogy for you…

I keep admonishing musicians that want to just “get signed,” thinking that someone’s going to wave a wand and grant them wishes. Instead, all of my techniques rely on slow, steady, incremental changes.

Just like Lance Armstrong…

He just put on the 81st Yellow Jersey (the signifier of the leader of the Tour de France) of his career. And yet, he has yet to win a single stage of this year’s event. How can you lead the Tour without winning a race?

Each day on the Tour, Lance and his team use strategy to let other, eager riders swoop up to the lead. In those strenuous breakaways, these folks burn lots of energy or sustain injuries that keep them from repeating their success.

Meanwhile, Lance just plows away, setting his own pace. He might come in a few paces back from the podium each day. But he consistently finishes near the top. Over time, he gains a steady lead that nobody can beat over the long run.

Thinking about your music career, are you burning too much energy looking for a “stage win” by trekking out to far-flung music showcases or going out on tour too soon? Are you depleting your resources too quickly, just like a rider that busts a muscle to win a sprint?

What would happen if you decided to spend the next 21 days plowing away at your local market, playing lots of small shows and building an audience that won’t disappear as soon as you leave town? What would happen if you stopped competing with the other bands in your scene, even letting them enjoy some of the cotton-candy glory, while you put all your energy into getting more gigs and putting yourself in front of more and more fans?